Transportation Department Mission
Education Service Center Region 11 provides a variety of services to school transportation departments. ESC Region 11 establishes and maintains a database of school bus driver certification records, files reports, and assists school districts in maintaining strict compliance with the provisions described in all applicable statutes, rules, and requirements pertaining to the operation of the student transportation system.
The transportation of pupils to and from school is an integral part of a sound educational program. Competent school bus drivers are needed to provide safe and effective transportation for students. These training courses are designed to promote the competency of school bus drivers throughout the state. School Bus Driver Safety Education Certification Training is a state-mandated program providing twenty (20) hours of certification training to all school bus drivers and an eight (8) hour re-certification training to drivers every three years.
Training is provided for new and experienced bus drivers. Also, specialized training is provided to assist transportation staff in student behavior management and other related areas.
Who Can Drive a School Bus in Texas?
School bus drivers are held to a higher standard of conduct than average citizens, and there are specific laws that govern the conduct of school bus drivers. For your own protection and the protection of your passengers, you must know the laws and obey them.
To be hired as a school bus driver and begin to drive a school bus, you must:
- be at least 18 years old;
- hold a Class B CDL with passenger (P) and school bus (S) endorsements; obtain through DPS office
- pass an annual mental and physical exam required by Texas DPS; obtain through employer or DOT certified doctor
- maintain an acceptable driving record in accordance with the Texas school bus driving record evaluation;
- be certified in school bus safety education (completed a 20-hour School Bus Safety Certification Course - ESC Region 11) or be registered in a school bus safety education class and possess an Enrollment Certificate from ESC Region 11/DPS; and
- be free of a felony or misdemeanor convictions for a crime involving moral turpitude (conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals).
Transportation/Bus Driver Services
Attention districts/contractors scheduling a 20-hour Texas School Bus Driver Certification or an 8-hour Texas School Bus Driver Recertification course:
Beginning January 1, 2018, districts or contractors that schedule a training session and request that we add a password to the class will have ten (10) business days from the time the class is posted on the ESC Region 11 website (www.esc11.net) to enroll drivers. After 10 working days, the transportation director will be notified and the password will be removed, allowing drivers from other districts to register.
Note: This policy does not apply to a district/contractor that requests a closed, password-protected class, where the district guarantees that all 30 seats will be filled by the host district.
Fee Changes Effective September 1, 2020I hope you are having an exciting school year! Please review the information below and make a note of the following changes to policy and fees regarding transportation certification classes.
District “Holds” on Training Classes
One of the perks that we offer school districts that host a bus driver training class is the option to “hold” (or restrict) registrations to participants from the hosting district unless the district notifies us to open up any unused seats for other outside participants. Many school districts contact ESC Region 11 on a daily basis asking to enroll a driver in one of the restricted eight-hour or 20-hour bus safety classes. We politely inform them that seats in those classes are being held by the hosting district and that we will let them know if any of those seats are released. Unfortunately, we are experiencing situations where a hosting district does not release the unfilled seats (or releases them too late), and we do not have a full roster of registered drivers for the session. If seats go unfilled, drivers across the region lose an opportunity to be certified/recertified. ESC Region 11 trains hundreds of drivers throughout the summer months, and we believe that every driver is valuable and should have an opportunity to attend and occupy a vacant seat.
In order to address this concern while still honoring the priority status of our hosting districts, we are implementing a new “hold” policy. Beginning August 1, 2017, districts requesting a bus driving class (eight-hour recertification or twenty-hour certification) must release all unfilled seats at least ten (10) working days prior to the start date of the class or agree to pay the registration fees for all class seats (35).Districts requesting to host a class (password protect) that will not be filled by hosting district drivers have ten (10) working days to register drivers. At the end of the ten-day period, the password will be removed and outside districts and charters will be able to register drivers. It is the hosting district's responsibility to check the ESC Region 11 website www.esc11.net to see when classes are posted.*NOTE: Districts requesting to host a class guarantee a minimum of twenty (20) participants. If that minimum is not reached, the requesting district is responsible to pay for the remaining seats, regardless of removing a password.Feel free to contact Andrea or Peggy with questions.Registration Fee Changes – Beginning September 1, 2020, the registration fee for an eight-hour recertification class will be $70 per person. The registration fee for a 20-hour certification class will be $135 per person. This $5 increase per class will allow us to cover our expenses and continue to provide you with quality trainers who will help prepare your drivers to operate your fleet.
Thank you for your continued partnership with ESC Region 11. We look forward to great things in 2021!Other potential fees: Walk-in $25 (driver not preregistered) Make-up $30
Texas Department of Public Safety
- School Bus Driver Training - Register for Training
- The twenty-hour certification course for new bus drivers provides state-mandated training. Drivers completing this course will be certified to operate school buses in Texas. Beginning September 1, 2020, the cost for this training is $135.00.
- The eight-hour refresher course costs $70.00 per person and meets state requirements to maintain bus driver certification.
- Customized training in student management issues for transportation staff
- Customized training in the School Bus Watch anti-terrorism program for transportation staff
- Customized training in the Operation Lifesaver program for all age groups. In an effort to reduce/eliminate train and light rail collisions with vehicles and pedestrians, these presentations increase awareness of the dangers on and around trains and railroad tracks
- Technical assistance for transportation personnel with the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation Certification program.
- Technical assistance for transportation directors, supervisors, and trainers
CDL Testing Requirements & Tools
School bus drivers must obtain a CDL license to drive a school bus in Texas. Listed below are documents to assist with areas that will be tested by the Department of Public Safety.Texas DPS has recently created some basic instructional videos on YouTube Videos to assist new drivers: